Phoenix, Quilling highlighted in sports best-of column

Our friends in the western part of the state haven’t forgotten the Phoenix women’s basketball team, and at least one sports columnist has included its first-ever Sweet 16 run in his 2011 sports best-of column. The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram’s John Casper Jr. lists the team’s accomplishments among the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl championship and Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff run, noting Eau Claire North grad Hannah Quilling’s role on the team.

Greenberg among Journal Sentinel’s “familiar faces we lost in 2011”

We told you this summer about the passing of former political science Prof. Martin H. Greenberg, the prolific anthologist and a founder of the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy). Greenberg, 70, who collaborated with the likes of Isaac Asimov, Tom Clancy and Stephen King, is memorialized again in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s year-end notable deaths list. You can find it here.

Giving back: Rouse’s holiday wish was for boy with Autism

I <3 a child with autismUnlike millions of others with an iPad 2 at the top of their holiday wish lists, sophomore Chelsea Rouse’s intentions had little to do with an unquenchable thirst for the latest in technology and everything to do with helping a child with special needs.

When Rouse heard about a radio station granting holiday wishes to those in need, she entered a contest on behalf of her friend Dylan, a six-year old with Autism. As one of his therapists, she felt it could be a big help in his sign language development. In fact, the iPad has special applications for people with Autism.

“Dylan has extensive therapy each day,” she wrote in her appeal to 101 WIXX. “He works extremely hard trying to learn sign language for each and every object in the world. The iPad 2 has special applications designed to teach children with autism; and is said to improve learning drastically. Since he is also diabetic Dylan is not able to tell his mother or father when his blood sugar is low. It is a scary thing for the family and they worry about each day. An iPad 2 could teach Dylan things a therapist couldn’t. This child has worked so hard to get to the point he is at and would benefit from this device greatly. We take things like talking for granted, but for Dylan it would be something he would never forget. He is such a special child and has a supportive family. It would be nice for him to have a voice and to have pictures to help guide him on his way through life.”

Rouse received news of her request being granted while in the hallway of the Environmental Science building during finals week. Although she was trying to be respectful of those studying for finals, the audio revealed a very excited and emotional response.

You can hear it here:

Duration: 1 minute 31 seconds | MP3

Click to enlarge

Rouse shared her excitement on her Facebook page (see screen capture to the right) and agreed to tell her story more widely because she would like to see the public more informed about Autism.

“It affects 1 in 97 kids now,” she said. “Boys are affected three times more than girls. These kids that I give therapy to mean the world to me and I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. Autism is a tricky thing to understand but once you open your mind it’s pretty interesting. It hurts to see some people look at families in weird ways thinking they don’t know how to handle their children when in all reality they do. They are so sensitive to lights and sounds, and for them to be around that sometimes is so overwhelming and over stimulating and causes them pain resulting in what would appear as a ‘tantrum’ in a normally functioning child.”

The help for Dylan was a wish come true for the Appleton native, who now resides in Algoma. In fact, she insists, as she shared on her Facebook page, it was the best day of her life.

Go Green: Phoenix women provide holiday cheer

More than 100 fans packed two buses to cheer the Green Bay women’s basketball team to victory on Dec. 23 over the Badgers in Madison. Light snow made travel slow, but the fans joined hundreds of others to fill a section behind the team bench, just in time for tip-off. The 65-49 road win was also the team’s seventh straight against Big Ten opponents.

The Phoenix is 12-0 overall, 2-0 in the Horizon League and one of only five team with a perfect record remaining in the Top 25. The team has three road games before returning to the Kress Events Center on January 19 and 21 for games against Youngstown State and Cleveland State.

Also over the holiday break, the Phoenix climbed in the AP poll to No. 17 and ESPN/USA Today poll has the team holding steady at No. 14. ESPN is the media outlet with the most comprehensive coverage of college women’s basketball and Graham Hays of ESPN.com is one of the nation’s most knowledgeable and widely read analysts in the game. When he suggests a player deserves all-America recognition… it means something. Hays recently traveled to Green Bay to report on the Phoenix and the team’s senior leader, Julie Wojta. He describes UW-Green Bay as a different kind of program, and Wojta as a different kind of superstar (unselfish to a fault.) An excerpt:

“Wojta scored 24 points against Illinois on a neutral court and 29 points at Wisconsin. She shoots 56 percent from the floor, 86 percent from the free throw line, 40 percent from the 3-point line and ranks 19th in the nation at 19.7 points per game (in addition to 20th in rebounding and 14th in steals). She nevertheless treats shots like a polite dinner guest treats the last roll in the basket. No, you take it. Really, I insist. I couldn’t possibly…”

Terrific recognition for the program as well as for the multi-dimensional accounting major from Francis Creek. Click here.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.

Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011Women's Basketball Green Bay Phoenix at Madison, Wis., 65 - 49 (W) — Fri, Dec 23, 2011

Photos by Sue Bodilly, Office of Marketing and University Communication

Phoenix steady in national polls

The ESPN/USA Today coaches poll released today (Tuesday, Dec. 27) has the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team ranked No. 14 in the nation. Monday’s AP sportswriters poll had the Phoenix at No. 18. Those rankings are unchanged from the previous week, despite a pair of lopsided wins: 80-39 at home over Ball State and 65-49 on the road vs. Wisconsin. See the rankings.

Friday’s win vs Badgers was emotional


With at least 400 cheering Phoenix fans filling the stands behind the UW-Green Bay bench, Friday’s road win was something different. Not because the 10-0 Phoenix prevailed — the team has won seven straight against Big Ten opponents, and handled the Badgers by 26 last December — but because coach Matt Bollant was reportedly passed over for the Madison coaching job in April. The Green Bay Press-Gazette played up that angle in its next-day game coverage.
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P.S. – If you think we made too much of the Mike/Matt gaffe, even the Madison newspaper led with it.

Thursday’s game vs UIC matches two of nation’s leading scorers


The UW-Green Bay women open Horizon League play this Thursday night (Dec. 29) with a 7 p.m. tip vs. Illinois-Chicago at the Kress Center. Both UIC’s Jasmine Bailey (12th, at 20.8 ppg) and Green Bay’s Julie Wojta (19th, at 19.9 ppg) ranked among the nation’s top 20 scorers as of last week’s NCAA Division statistics. Wojta’s name also appears among the leaders in rebounding (33rd, at 9.9 rpg), steals (38th, 3.1), shooting accuracy (17th, at 57.9 pct. from the field), and free-throw percentage (32nd, at 88.9 pct.).

DOA confirms big cut for UW System


The state Department of Administration announced Friday its plan for cutting $123 million from state government by July. Overall, the plan calls for cutting $174.3 million by 2013, with the vast majority coming in the current fiscal year, which began in June. Hardest hit is the UW System at $46.1 million, followed by Health Services at $18.5 million and Corrections at $9.4 million. For coverage from Madison.